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Bwin Study Reports Gambling Addiction has Decreased

22/4/2009
A new research study conducted by Dr Howard Shaffer and Austrian betting organisation Bwin has reported that, contrary to popular belief, gambling addiction has decreased in the past two decades.

The study focussed on the relationship between increasingly accessible gambling and its impact on problem gambling and discovered that due to the regulations currently in place and an improved understanding of gambling addiction, the vast majority of online gamblers do so in a very moderate way compared to their 1970s counterparts.

According to Dr Shaffer, who is the director of Harvard Medical School’s Addictions Department, the results of the study clearly dispute the commonly accepted hypothesis that the greater accessibility of online gambling would lead to increased incidences of problem gambling and support the fact that gamblers these days are far less compulsive than in previous years.

“The very first thing that we learned,” said Dr Shaffer “was that the vast majority, the overwhelming majority, of gamblers online gamble in a very moderate and mild way. Preventing people from gambling online is likely to be ineffective in reducing problem gambling – but rather, education, public awareness programs and truth in advertising regulations will be more successful in helping to keep gambling safer.”

It is likely that the results of the new survey will provide key evidence in the current debate over the legalisation of online gambling in the US where, despite the efforts of a growing pro-gambling lobby, it is still illegal.

Duncan Wilkie
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